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Last Year's Asisaid Stock Tip

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:00 AM

I wrote on March 12, 2010:

With that in mind, and with full disclosure that I am an AAPL shareholder, let me suggest that I think $250/share is not an unrealistic price target within the next three to six months.

Apple closed today 345.43, down 8.13.

Romeo and Juliet in a Nutshell

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:04 AM

Andy Griffith explains the plot of Romeo and Juliet to a young Ron Howard in this clip from the Andy Griffith Show:

You can change the name of a rose but you can't do nuthin 'bout the smell.

Snow on Snow on Snow

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:36 AM

Rossetti seems fitting tonight,

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

There is something contemplative about watching the snow fall. Tonight it is falling briskly.

Huckleberry Finn

By Tim Butler | Posted at 2:11 AM

The San Francisco Chronicle gets it exactly right in its editorial concerning the censoring of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

The moral hinge of the novel centers on Huck's realization that Jim's freedom is as important as his own. The rest of the country made this realization in a bloody but necessary way - and trying to deny that history is an insult to all of us.

Ironically, the censoring of Huck Finn removes a crucial element in Twain's biting attack on racist stereotypes. Making the characters appear to be more respectful of Jim is as effective of means for stopping racism as denying parts of the Holocaust would be for reducing anti-semetism. Could it be that those who find Huckleberry Finn most offensive are those for whom the novel's critique hits closest to home?

C.S. Lewis and the Influence of Books

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:42 PM

In the Wall Street Journal, Michael Flaherty critiques Joy Behar's ignorant understanding of C.S. Lewis. Beside defending Jack against the unfortunate suggestion that he is only an author of children's books, the piece is worth reading for some excellent observations on books and stories in general.

Lewis would likely have appreciated making Mrs. Palin's reading list. But he probably would have appreciated the questions about it even more. For Lewis, one of the best ways to know a person was to know what they read. He was convinced that books defined us and shaped our character. He realized that books did more than prepare people for interesting conversations with journalists—they prepare us to respond to the crises we encounter in our own lives.

I keep thinking of John Henry Cardinal Newman right now.

15 Authors

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:43 AM

An interesting little meme is floating around Facebook:

The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included, of course) who've influenced you and whose work has stayed with you. List the first fifteen (or so) you can recall, though we all want to list twice that. Tag a few literate friends, including me. Take it as an opportunity for self knowledge and self sharing. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.) Or simply reply to this note.

Let's give this a go, in no particular order:

  1. William Shakespeare
  2. T.S. Eliot
  3. Thomas Aquinas
  4. Karl Barth
  5. John Donne
  6. Henry Hazlitt
  7. Michael Williams
  8. Michael Pollan
  9. David Hume
  10. John Hick
  11. Geoffrey Chaucer
  12. Dante
  13. C.S. Lewis
  14. N.T. Wright
  15. Henri Nouwen
  16. Christopher Marlowe
  17. Boethius

There's a nice little grouping of significant authors in my life.

English is Dead

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:31 AM

Gene Weingarten reports,

It was not immediately clear to what degree the English language will be mourned, or if it will be mourned at all. In the United States, English has become increasingly irrelevant, particularly among young adults.

Alas, poor English. According to Weingarten,

Once the most popular major at the nation's leading colleges and universities, it now often trails more pragmatic disciplines, such as economics, politics, government, and, ironically, “communications,” which increasingly involves learning to write mobile-device-friendly ads for products like Cheez Doodles.

This would be funny if it were not so sad.

Reopen the Box

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:09 AM

From Hesiod's Works and Days,

But [Pandora] took off the great lid of the jar with her hands and scattered all these and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men. Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her, by the will of Aegis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds. But the rest, countless plagues, wander amongst men; for earth is full of evils and the sea is full. Of themselves diseases come upon men continually by day and by night, bringing mischief to mortals silently; for wise Zeus took away speech from them.

Sometimes it would be nice to reopen the jar.

I Write Like

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:21 AM

This site claims to be able to figure out what famous writer you sound like:

Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.

Unfortunately for me, I find different samples of my writing inspired a whole laundry list of comparisons. I thought maybe I'd catch a prevailing choice, but it felt pretty random to me.

How about for you?

A Dream Deferred

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:54 AM

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes had just the right touch with words to make his famous poem graphic without being over the top. And, of course, he asks a mighty powerful question.

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